Today Team OG won The Frankfurt Major and I honestly want to stand and applause. They had a difficult group stage, losing their tie-break match with Vega Squadron 2-1. Thus they set off in the lower bracket and beat every team in style including my beloved Virtus.Pro (2-1) TI5 winners and favourites for the tournament Evil Geniuses (2-1) and TI5 runner-up CDEC Gaming (2-0) and the highest placing and well established Chinese team EHOME.
Having started off life as a 5-stack of people who either missed out on TI or weren’t going altogether, it looked that Monkey Business was set to be Miracle + 4 in their play style. To best honest, that would have been enough for me. Miracle is an entertaining player and you should never say the game is over if Miracle is still alive. However, in the few months before they became Team OG they adapted their playstyle and brought it to new levels. MoonMeander became a dominant force in the offlane while Crit and Fly set about, together, finding as much space as possible for BigDaddy-NoTail to find farm. NoTail switched roles for OG, previously having been a 4-position in Cloud9, Team Secret and Fnatic.EU, where he played under the captaincy of Fly as he does now.
I find their playstyle to be similar to CDEC in nature, which is perhaps why they had their most trouble beating EG and significantly less in beating CDEC. Constantly aggressive, Miracle rarely does poorly and, when he does, NoTail is there to pick up the slack. However, while there is an awful lot of skill in this team and they have found a good team-dynamic quickly, I think it is Fly’s drafts that hold things together.
Unafraid of picking underused heroes, like a safelane Brewmaster or Sven for NoTail with the occasional Invoker for Miracle, his drafts aren’t afraid of sticking with things proven to work, which is the opposite of Puppey’s drafting and my biggest criticism of it. To compare him to the drafters I know best: Puppey and fng, he is far more willing to do what works than Puppey, which is a good thing, and he is far less reliant on single players to have good games than fng is, which is also a good thing. If I had to find a chink is his armour then I’d say that Moon’s heroes are very predictable and often stand appart from the draft rather than bring things together, but I have to counter that with the idea that he is probably just catering to Moon’s playstyle.
So, since I am incapable of finding a chink in the drafts, I shall instead view the team as a whole because, as a whole, they do have flaws. For the moment they are on top but I am interested in seeing how they adapt to new patches. That is purely speculative but it does go hand-in-hand with my criticism that their main advantage – the fact that they are new and haven’t established a certain playstyle yet that teams can learn how to beat – could be short lived. Also, despite the fact that their playstyle is very much team-oriented and their drafts don’t rely on any one player, Miracle is so much better than any other player that it’s hard to see him having a good game and not think that OG rely on him. These criticisms though are fairly negligible and, to be honest, could be considered imaginary. Right now they are playing the best Dota of their lives and I congratulate them for it.
GG Team OG. Well played!